For the second straight year, the University of Connecticut field hockey team won the national championship, defeating Syracuse 1-0 in the final game of the season on Sunday at the Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park, Md.
The Huskies conclude their historic campaign with a 20-2 record, claiming three championship trophies after winning both the conference regular season and tournament crown in addition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title.
The 2014 crown marks UConn’s fourth national field hockey title (1981, 1985, 2013, 2014) and second under head coach Nancy Stevens. The Huskies cap their incredible season with 14 straight wins. Overall, UConn has won 24 of 41 tournament games since Stevens arrived on the Storrs campus prior to the 1990 season.
The 2014 national championship in field hockey is the 19th NCAA title in UConn history and the 20th overall national championship. UConn has also claimed multiple national titles in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and men’s soccer.
The Huskies scored on their first shot of the game, taking advantage of the game’s first corner. Charlotte Veitner sent the ball to Chrissy Davidson, who executed the stick-stop and directed the ball to Anna Middendorf. The sophomore defender blasted a shot towards the keeper and enabled Mckenzie Townsend a chance to redirect the ball into the upper right of the net. The shot marked Townsend’s fourth goal of the season.
Townsend said the goal was a team effort. “You have the person who gets the corner. The push-out has to be perfect, the stop has to be perfect, and the strike in has to be into the right spot. I’m just the lucky one who gets to have the last touch on it.”
Redshirt-freshman Nina Klein posted her second straight and ninth overall shutout, turning away four Syracuse attempts. Her counterpart Jess Jecko finished a pair of saves.
“I’m just ecstatic,” said Klein. “We’ve been working since August to get here and honestly, I’m speechless.”
Huskies Roisin Upton, Middendorf, Davidson, and Klein were named to the All-Tournament team following the win.